How to use ‘Do Not Disturb’ on your Apple Watch

BY Kelly Hodgkins

Published 3 May 2015


Apple’s Watch includes an easy-to-access “Do Not Disturb” function that allows you to silence your phone when you are attending an event where you don’t want your Watch chiming or buzzing at you. Not only is turning on this Do Not Disturb mode easy, the Watch also can be configured to enable the feature on both the Watch and the iPhone at the same time. Read on to find out how to enable or disable Do Not Disturb on your Apple Watch, and use it with the iPhone.

Differences between Do Not Disturb and Mute

The Apple Watch, and also the iPhone, ship with two different modes for silencing notifications and other incoming alerts — Mute and Do Not Disturb. Mute is useful when you want to be alerted to incoming items, but don’t want a chime or other noise to disturb the people around you. Mute achieves this by turning off the sound but allowing for vibration and haptic feedback. It is available via a mute switch on the iPhone and in the Settings Glance on the Watch.

Do Not Disturb provides an even more silent mode for users who require absolute silence from their device. Do Not Disturb allows you to silence your Watch and phone completely , so you will not be disturbed by a chime, a vibration/haptic tap or the display turning on in response to an incoming alert. In this mode, notifications will accrue in the background until you are ready to view them. It’s great for when you are sleeping or when your environment requires quiet, such as attending a play or participating in a one-on-one meeting.

Configure Do Not Disturb


To configure Do Not Disturb on the Watch, you need to open the Apple Watch app on the iPhone and select “Do Not Disturb.” In this menu, there is an option to mirror your settings on the iPhone. When mirroring is enabled, you can use the Watch to control Do Not Disturb on both the Watch and the iPhone. This cross-platform control also works in the opposite direction — when you turn on Do Not Disturb from the iPhone, it also will be enabled on the Watch.

Enable Do Not Disturb


To enable Do Not Disturb using your Watch, you will need to open the Settings glance by swiping up from the Clock Watch face and swiping to the left until your see the Settings glance. Here you will find buttons to ping your iPhone, turn on Airplane Mode, enable Mute and activate Do Not Disturb. Just tap on the Do Not Disturb button to turn on the feature and tap again to turn it off. When enabled, the button will be purple-blue, and there will be a purple-blue status icon on the Watch face.

If you want to learn more about the Apple Watch, you can view additional tutorials on our Apple Watch Tips and Tricks page and our Watch Help page. If you have an area you would like to see covered in this ongoing series of Watch tutorials or have discovered your own handy tips or tricks, please share them in the comments.